How to Be Beautiful: A Reflection of Beauty

OMG, when I look in the mirror, I’m a fat cow!

Ask anyone in high school, I was a, “fat cow.” The whispers of the insecure dressed in holier-than-thou costumes echoed through the hallways of pencils and ammonia, “OMG, look at what that fat cow is wearing today!”

How to Be Beautiful A Reflection of Beauty by Michelle Grewe of Crumpets and Bollocks

The football players I would have dated in a heartbeat would often sit in the hallway and say, “You’re a fat whore” as I walked by, as if I had inadvertently stepped right into a huge, sweaty pile of Freud-shit. “Oh my Gawd I can see her pubes up her shorts! Ewwww!!!” I don’t know the details of these people’s lives, but when it came to the men, I blame their relationship with their mothers. In my Adam Sandler voice, “Someone forgot to teach their sons respect.”

Snoop Dogg’s Baggy Clothes Phenomenon hid my fat from me enough to step out into public. I was only worthy of T-shirts and jeans: unworthy of fashion. I didn’t even bother with make-up often. Why? What’s the point? I’m too fat.

OMG, when I look in the mirror, I’m a super-model. Hottie McHot Hot HOT! Tssssss.

A half of a semester at Shepherd College changed my life. Fitness swimming and Cheerleading kept me in shape, stronger, and SKINNIER! I remember being so excited to fit in the clothes they sold at Deb and 5 ♥ 7 ♥ 9 that I used my father’s American Express card he gave me for emergencies to buy me my first hip-hugger junior ladies jeans: a pair that challenged trends and took confidence to be the first to wear. It WAS an emergency. For the first time in my life, I was pretty. 

Then I got kicked out (they don’t like it when you carry marijuana on you, but I never inhaled). Returning home, my mother still taught at my old high school, and rumors already circulated that I fucked the entire football team and got pregnant with twins. I walked down those hallways again thinking this time I was ready to tackle high school’s scorn because I’m too pretty for the bull shit now. Right!

Those yellow-bellied whispers still echoed in the stench of stale ammonia, “What the fuck happened to her? She used to be enormously fat!” Despite the awe of a total make-over, I still felt less of a person to these people. But fuck it. I’m pretty now.

OMG, when I look in the mirror, no matter what the haters say, a pretty girl can do whatever she wants.

And I did. For about 13 years, I did whatever the fuck I wanted. I wore sweatpants to the hoity-toity bar and sat right next to a woman in a $3,000 dress and looked DOWN at her, especially when her husband would flirt with me. I projected all my revenge and repressed resentment of High School onto anyone in my way.

For a good decade after this moment, I maintained beauty. Confidence turned into arrogance.

“You’re so beautiful!”

“I know.”

“What a way to take a compliment!”

“What do you want me to say? Thanks? You didn’t make me this way.”

I enjoyed all eyes on me when I walked into a room. One time a wife slapped her husband for checking me out. I thought it was cute.

Whoever said, “You can’t buy anything with good looks,” obviously never looked good because you can. Life is free when you’re pretty. Men bought my drinks, from the bar to the fast food worker just telling me it’s on the house. Men bought my dinners, from Chef Lui’s perfect filet mignon to the Colonnade’s homemade Bearnaise sauce. I didn’t go to a bar just to find men to buy my drinks and my friends drinks like most beautiful women. I was also looking for some free breakfast. Men also bought my clothes. They paid for my travel. Got me out of speeding tickets…. Shit was free.

My skinny, beautiful body also got me jobs. YES. Here’s my secret. EVERY JOB I ever had outside of Community Resources and the military, I was hired for my good looks, not my qualifications. Every job interview was a beauty pageant. I could never beat the ones at United Bank, but I was hot shit to lonely old small businesses. Then I’d lose the job because I refused to fuck my boss. Well, Montgomery Wards fired me because the guy who hired me was dating another manager, and she didn’t like the perceived competition (as if he satisfied the income requirement).

OMG, when I look in the mirror, what happened to me? I’m a beautiful book cover without anything meaningful written in the pages.

Then that was ALL the men would see.

The doctor I dated, “You’re nothing more than a pretty face.” As if the 3.8 GPA taking Calculus and Physics is a good indicator of my stupidity. Fuck me some men are dumb as fuck when a good pair of tits stares them in the face.

But now I wasn’t good enough again for society. I was pretty, but I didn’t have manners. I didn’t have that 3.8 GPA anymore; instead, I was a college drop-out. Every time I tried to do the right thing, I ended up hurting people as well as myself. I really had nothing to offer but a stupid pretty face….

OMG, when I look in the mirror, I’m actually beautiful. I earned this uniform. My boots are shining. And steel-toed, knock a bitch out flat. My make-up doesn’t look bad either.

I joined the military to fill those pages. I needed character. Strength. I needed these things like I needed a beautiful body in high school.

I did the pushups. I passed the PT Test. I graduated basic and tech school with honors. I was a shit-hot soldier with a shit-hot ass, and nothing could stop me. For every blow that came at me, I punched back and knocked the bitch out. Sexism… Plow. Sexual Harassment… Plow. Rape… Plow. Go ahead and pull rank on me. I dare ya! Tell me I can’t run, and I’ll run circles around you (that actually happened quite literally once).

After I found the real me hiding behind a pretty face, I then found my husband. I then started making a family.

OMG, when I look in the mirror, I don’t give a shit anymore.

My weight started fluctuating with the onslaught of motherhood. I got fat, gave birth, remained fat, got pregnant again (while breastfeeding the first), gave birth, got down to a size 5, got pregnant again, gave birth…

Then motherhood. Three kids. Back to back. A baby and two toddlers. A highly judgmental world of “you’re not good enoughs” all over again.

No longer could a pretty girl do whatever the fuck she wanted. Now the pretty girl will never be a good mother. 

I tried so hard to exceed expectations like I always have. I wanted a perfectly clean house because that’s what everyone expects, or you’re a bad mother. I wanted home-cooked meals that were healthy, or I was a bad mother. I wanted to raise my kids right, and the things people would have you do are designed to fuck up your kids, and I love my kids more than I wanted to be accepted, so I did things the right way…

Instead of being late for school because I had to take my kid kicking and screaming, we were late because I let my kid wander around and explore the world as advised by Erik Erikson. We were late a lot.

Instead of spanking my kids or doing a time out, we talked things out and used behavior modification approaches.

Instead of telling my kids what to do, I gave them do-able options so they had a sense of independence.

Instead of ignoring a crying baby, I ran to her immediately because trust at that age is the basic foundation of all their cognitive development.

OMG, when I look in the mirror, GROSS my skin is sinking behind my bones!

All that shunned me from the parenting community. I was a pushover mom.

All that kept me busy because mainstream parenting is easy and lazy parenting designed to appeal to the wants of the parent instead of the needs of the child. That’s EXACTLY what I see when people want to tell me I’m parenting wrong because if they think I’m wrong, and I know I’m right, then they are the ones who are actually wrong.

All that kept me up all night. I didn’t sleep for 7 years. By that, I don’t mean I got up 3 times at night. I mean I didn’t lay down until noon the next day. I averaged 2 hours of sleep in a 24 hour period. See, I have to say a 24 hour period because a day to me is 3 to 5 days long. Now that I’m sleeping again, I still have no concept of a day or what that even means, or that there can be an end to a day and a fresh new day the next. I don’t feel that anymore. Not at all.

In that time, I had migraines. Three to five days of the week were full of “SHOOT ME IN THE HEAD!” vomit-inducing migraines. I lost a lot of weight from the vomiting. At one point, I was anemic. I was smaller than a size 0.

OMG, when I look in the mirror, I really am fat.

The sleep deprivation mixed with some PTSD made me really crazy.

The shrinkological experts first started treating it with Lithium. I gained 50 pounds in 2 weeks. No joke. I couldn’t even bend over comfortably. That’s why I made them change my meds because I needed to clean the house, tie my shoes and reach my meat drapes to wipe, and I couldn’t do those things with all that fat that showed up out of no where. My own body was making me claustrophobic.

I haven’t lost any of that weight either. I tried diet pills. I don’t eat much. I tried a month at the gym swimming 20 lengths 4 time a week. I gained 20 more pounds.

Two years later, and I’m still not used to it. I keep knocking shit over with my ass like a dog with a tail. I’m now an X-Large shirt. BUT my tits are awesomely huge! And, I can’t stop grabbing my own ass. Sometimes I forget I’m in public and smack it.

OMG, when I look in the mirror, I’m a demon. I am black with a red light on my forehead.

I really did that in a dream. That’s who I saw when I looked into the mirror. But that’s all I see with my ears. “Michelle Lynn Grewe. How can you live with yourself?”

My therapist told me to silence the dark voices in my life. When I said, “You mean the demons?” He was like, “No, I mean your mother. Your sister. Your husband. Your friends. The school. All of them do nothing but criticize you. Stop listening to them.”

When I look at people, I don’t see demons, but I can hear them. The same criticism that comes out of the bowels of hell come out of people’s mouths every fucking day.

I don’t know how some people can look in the mirror and not be afraid.

The most influential demon criticizing me was myself. I have more power over me than all of you and all of hell combined, and I allowed my dark voice to influence me. I believed every horrible thing a demon, alive or dead, had to say about me because that’s what I thought about myself.

You’re fat. Yes. Yes I am.

You’re a bad mother. Touche.

You’re never going to get what you want. No. I probably won’t.

You are a failure. I know.

What a way to take an insult! 

What do you want me to say? Fuck you? You didn’t make me this way.

OMG, when I look in the mirror, I’m healing.

The world each grabbed a piece of my soul and yanked it apart in a thousand different directions, and it takes years to mend it back together. That’s what I’m doing.

I maintain a mess in my house. My house looks like a demon came in and took a healthy dump, but you can be sure that it’s a fresh dump. For the first time in a long time, I have actual goals. I’m learning to silence the voices and control how I react (sometimes without Xanax helping).

I no longer see demons among the humans. I see humans among the demons.

It is human to judge.

It is human to project our insecurities on others.

It is human to believe what we tell ourselves.

All the OMG’s I’ve listed, everyone of you are somewhere in there. Every one of you have your own OMG, and I am your mirror. Your parents are your mirror. Your children are your mirror.

It’s human to see ourselves in other people. This is why we blame everyone but ourselves. 

I hated the world for a long time because I hated myself. The world hated me for a long time because I hated myself. The only remedy for the soul is love, and I’m healing because I’m learning to love myself. I’m learning to love you.

An inspirational quote by Michelle Grewe with some penguins. For more, check out

Some Pinterest Friendly Pics

A reflection of beauty. By Michelle Grewe   How to Be Beautiful a Reflection of Beauty by Michelle Grewe on Crumpets and Bollocks   Be Youtiful Pinterest Graphic. Happy Valentines Day. How to be Beautiful on Crumpets and Bollocks. Read more about Michelle Grewe's story on beauty. From fat cow to supermodel to demon to human.


This is part of Finish the Sentence Friday.

Finish the Sentence Friday

For more posts about what people see in mirrors, check out

April Noelle



  1. Another powerful post from you, as you move along your journey. I believe that you are evolving, as you move from body image to body image, life role to life role, and rediscover yourself repeatedly. I appreciate the honesty in your writing; it comes from your soul.

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